Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Killer Drone Pacifism

Glass House Dwellers,

The House of Saud has ruthlessly bombed and starved poor Yemenis for the last 5 years, without fear of consequences, let alone retaliation. 
The world is hurriedly recalculating the financial implications of that Yemeni brick through the west wall of the Glass House of Saud.
​ ​The devastating blitz on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry has led to a flurry of accusations from US officials blaming Iran. The reason for the finger-pointing is simple: Washington’s spectacular failure to protect its Saudi ally.
The Trump administration needs to scapegoat Iran for the latest military assault on Saudi Arabia because to acknowledge that the Houthi rebels mounted such an audacious assault on the oil kingdom’s heartland would be an admission of American inadequacy.
​ ​Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars in recent years purchasing US Patriot missile defense systems and supposedly cutting-edge radar technology from the Pentagon. If the Yemeni rebels can fly combat drones up to 1,000 kilometers into Saudi territory and knock out the linchpin production sites in the kingdom’s oil industry, then that should be a matter of huge embarrassment for US “protectors.”
​ ​American defense of Saudi Arabia is germane to their historical relationship. Saudi oil exports nominated in dollars for trade – the biggest on the planet – are vital for maintaining the petrodollar global market, which is in turn crucial for American economic power. In return, the US is obligated to be a protector of the Saudi monarchy, which comes with the lucrative added benefit of selling the kingdom weapons worth billions of dollars every year.
​ ​According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Saudi Arabia has the world’s third biggest military budget, behind the US and China.

​This is just going to get more embarrassing with each passing day...
​ ​Saudi Arabia revealed yesterday that, contrary to its initial estimates, Aramco should be able to restore oil production to 100% capacity by the end of the month. And on Wednesday morning, the kingdom's Defense Ministry said it was planning a press conference to present "material evidence" purportedly linking Tehran to the unprecedented attack on the Kingdom's oil infrastructure.
​ ​The country's defense ministry will hold a news conference later in the day laying out new evidence. This follows reports from the US claiming that the roughly 20 missiles and drones used in the attack had been traced back to a 'launch site' in southern Iran.

​Japan says they don't know of any evidence that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia, and believe that the Yemenis did it, like they said. 
(It could be more than one attack, and Israel could have done the second one. Yemen made 10 holes. Who made the other 7 holes?)​

  ​Iran tells Saudi Arabia it should see missile strike on its oil facilities as a WARNING and end its war with Yemen  
​Sounds like reasonable advice. The House of Saud should pay for some food, medicine, electricity, water, sewer, and hospitals, too.  

​There is a sudden desperate rush for $US right away, and nobody can seem to say why. There may be panic in covering some kind of speculation, which we might presume has flipped negative from the successful cheap-Yemeni-drone attacks on the big Saudi refinery. 
What cascading repercussions are underway now?

Trump talks big to move financial markets (and Israeli elections?), then quietly moves to reduce actual risk.
​ ​It appears oil markets just heard that one - since the early Saturday attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities talk of war has been on the table, especially given President Trump's initial "locked and loaded" threat - however it now seems certain there will be no war, given the president has announced new sanctions.
"I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

​Trump names Mormon Hostage Negotiator, Robert O'Brien to National Security Adviser post. (whazzat gonna mean?)​
It looks like he has a lot of experience negotiating settlements for blowback-damage mitigation. Negotiate with Iran?

​We are members of nature, participants in the web of life on Earth, not separate owners/managers of lifeless property. Grow vegetables.
​ In the Anthropocene, we are seeing more and more how the fates of humanity and nature are intertwined. Governments and corporations have developed such control over the natural systems they exploit that they are destabilising the fundamental chemistry of the global climate system. As a result, inhospitable heat, rising seas, and increasingly frequent and extreme weather events will render millions of humans and animals refugees.

What actual steps need to be taken to consider Green New Deal concepts as the basis for a long term, sustainable economy, that will support global life forms and healthy ecosystems? What is the next step after Sparkle-Pony?
 But here is the problem. Increases in the scale of economic activity (as conventionally measured in terms of GDP) are associated with increases in the throughput of energy and materials, and these increases have involved increased emissions of greenhouse gases, resulting primarily from the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. Green growth, requires that this association between GDP and GHG emissions must cease to exist: this is known as ‘decoupling’. It is doubtful whether any developed country has achieved this at the scale and permanence required (Burton and Somerville 2019, pp. 99–101), especially when international shipping and aviation plus embodied carbon in imports are taken into account (Anderson 2019)...
  So the desired, clean, growth of the economy has undesirable implications in terms of additional resource and energy use. Clean begets dirty...
  So far, increases in renewable energy deployment have not led to a reduction in fossil fuel usage globally. Overall their deployment has been to add to the global energy mix rather than replacing fossil fuels. Moreover, it is doubtful whether renewables can provide the scale of concentrated energy used by the current global economy: the constraints are less in the power that could theoretically be generated from natural flows than in the minerals needed to deploy them: minerals used in generators and motors, in batteries and in electronics, as well as copper for transmission of power (García-Olivares 2015). These are finite and with limited substitutability. The revolution will be low powered, so the Green Deal has to factor in a plan for energy descent...
...You can’t create minerals from sunlight. These economic consequences of the increasing scarcity and inaccessibility of most minerals and metals need to be addressed in any credible Green Deal, yet there is almost no discussion of this crucial reality in any of the proposals, nor of the ‘hidden’ resource intensive demands of new technology...
 “Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity:
Two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are what the scientists call ‘core boundaries’. Significantly altering either of these “core boundaries” would “drive the Earth System into a new state”...
  Some advocates suggest that the GND be funded through money created by government especially for this purpose – by electronically printing money.
​ ​In all these cases, the advance of money for investment ultimately requires ongoing expansion of capital, the modus operandi of the capitalist system, founded on the expropriation of surplus value in the labour process, which we know as economic growth. Without expansion, there is no, or insufficient, return on the outlay.
Despite the claims of some GND advocates, Green Deals are predicated on the expansion of GDP and as we saw, we can’t rely on that to decouple from material impacts.
​ ​That is, unless another way can be found. There are some indications that this might be possible.
Resource and energy caps.
Review evidence that credit needn’t imply growth.
Take production out of private ownership.
Redirect unnecessary expenditure.​ 
Substitute material production with social & environmental stewardship / “dépense”.

​Hostage For Life​

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